Posts Tagged ‘Liggett Lady’

MVT (Most Valuable Time)

October 23, 2010

Andrew Hicks

I’m near the end of the glorious downtime that occurs only once in the daytime hours. Both babies are asleep. As parents know, an hour lasts 120 minutes when your kids are awake and 30 minutes when they’re not. So this is the most valuable time of the day for me. It’s my 1909 T206 White Border #366 Honus Wagner baseball card*, if you will. This is when I take my laptop outside and write this blog.

It’s another great day out, too. Even the faint smell of Liggett Lady’s secondhand smoke and the sound of her intermittent hacking cough seem to be harmonious with nature. Only the back issues of the Farmer’s Almanac will be able to say for sure, but I suspect this September and October have been home to the most beautiful days I’ve ever slept through.

This is the fourth day I’ve been getting around with a cane rather than crutches, and it’s been a major advancement for me. My in-laws are still taking good care of Sarah and Silas, for which I’m extremely grateful. Tiffany comes up on the weekends, too, but each day sees me resuming more and more of the responsibilities of caring for my own children.

Probably one more week of assisted-living exile, and I’ll be back at home, facing 45 hours a week of solo daddy time. I’m having to relearn old stuff and freshly learn new stuff. My body’s still healing, too, which leaves me feeling exhausted a lot more easily. It’s hard for me to resist sleeping when they sleep, and nap time is over far too quickly.

The naptime wakeup ritual has taken a strange turn this week. For four consecutive days now, sometime during her nap, Sarah has removed her pants and diaper. No poop episodes yet, but everything in her bed that could be peed on got peed on. Parents of kids older than mine have been warning me this would happen. And, yes, I had noticed Sarah randomly pulling her pants to her knees and then walking around with them like that, but I just figured it was because VH1’s been showing 8 Mile twice a day for the past month.

The potty-training days are drawing nigh. We’ve been watching the Elmo’s Potty Time DVD on almost a daily basis lately. Having seen “Sesame Street” with Sarah for more than a year now, it’s weird to watch their format be adapted to talk of poop, pee and diapers for an entire hour. Three quick examples:

  • A disconnected shot of a soundstage with twelve to fifteen preschool-aged kids standing around and all simultaneously announcing, “I really need to urinate.”
  • Lots of bathroom-themed songs, including one called “Dirty Diaper Blues.” It’s a decent rendering and all, but the great Elmore James recorded the definitive version.
  • When Baby Bear, the muppet character with the speech impediment, calls himself a “potty animal,” it sounds like he’s saying “potty enema.”

I’ve been more or less out of commission with Sarah since AB2KX**. She’s gotten better at her tricks. Sarah moves fast, she hides my cane when I’m not looking, and she frequently outsmarts me. After just one afternoon back on the job, I was ready to call local adult-contemporary radio and dedicate Sade’s “Smooth Operator” to my daughter. Some people count to 10 to get their anger under control. I get Delilah’s people on the phone.

Sarah is a really fun, warmhearted, loving little girl, and I treasure the time I spend with her. It’s been great to be able to play outside again minus crutches. Sarah likes me to pretend-chase her around the yard, and I can finally do it again. The ground is unlevel, so she kept falling down. I was moving conspicuously slow and unsteady and could never catch up with her. It was like we were reenacting a scene from a bad ’80s slasher movie.

Then we went inside, and I gave her cookies and let her eat the outside of a banana (pronounced “buh-mah-muh”), which Sarah insists is the tastiest part. I’m getting back into the swing of things.

*I just Googled a few “most valuable _____ in the world” queries, and that was the baseball card match. Several sites I hit first all proclaimed the most valuable thing in the world is “time.” Indeed, I wasted five minutes reading about the value of time and another five pondering the simple irony of wasting valuable time reading about how valuable time is. Then about 90 seconds typing up this footnote that no one in their right mind will read all the way to the end. Pickle shoes. Cinnamon and gravy.

**a.k.a. Ankle Break 2010. I’ve decided to get all acronymy on you. But aesthetically, especially with that double asterisk weighing it down, the phrase AB2KX looks like a hack-job. It doesn’t make me cool. Just Google AB2KX and see what I mean.


Sarah and Silas with my father-in-law Jim, our child-care MVP of the past month and a half. Thanks, grandpa!

Where’s the soap?!

October 19, 2010

Andrew Hicks

The string of beautiful days continues. Yesterday afternoon, I worked on a cover letter for a prospective freelance writing gig while sitting on the downstairs patio. Silas was in his stroller next to me, looking around at the leaves falling, and we enjoyed the peace and quiet. Liggett Lady came out three times in an hour to smoke, but otherwise, it was a ghost town. You’d think everyone in the villa community had fallen and couldn’t get up.

I know, it’s easy to make fun of — really easy, SOOOOOPER EASY — but my ankle-break situation has left me suddenly appreciative of the virtue of the Medic Alert bracelet. I still have to hop on one foot to maneuver my way around the shower, and I need the crutches to get in and out. I’m one soap slip away from being flat on the floor. I haven’t had any mishaps yet, but I was on enough of a personal Elevated Terror Risk to have Tiffany spot me the first few times.

We’re not newlyweds anymore, and our comfort levels with each other are high, so there’s only the occasional surprise here and there. But having Tiffany watch every nuance of my single-leg shower ritual broke down a few of the final privacy barriers and positively did not get me laid that night. The clear highlight of Shower Numero Uno was this:

TIFFANY: Aha! I knew it! You do rub the bar of soap in your ass crack!
ME (caught redsoapyhanded): Um, yeah, usually I don’t. Usually I soap up my hand and then clean my butt with my hand.
TIFFANY: That’s still the same thing. Hand touches dirty ass touches supposedly clean soap.
ME: Who cares, it all gets lathered and rinsed away.
TIFFANY: I don’t care, I do it too.

If you just read that line where she admits she does it too, consider yourself lucky. She’s going to make me pull that off of here any second now.

The whole discussion hearkened back to a debate I had with a group of kitchen brothers I used to work with. It was one of those, “Why do white people like mayonnaise? It’s disgusting,” kind of conversations. The KB contingent was united in their view that only the washcloth should touch the soap, and I told them I didn’t use a washcloth just like I don’t use the top sheet in bed.

Simultaneous overdrawn disgusted reactions followed, after which they all told me they’d never come over and use my soap, and I said good, that’s how I want to keep it anyway. Then I spent five solid minutes talking excitedly about how much I loved mayonnaise. Those were good times.

Anyway, as I was saying before the soap-bar ass-crack detour… I got some good work in during Sarah’s nap, but the time just flew by. It’s not often I can get both babies sleeping without personally feeling like I need a nap. Today, I had the little girl sleeping, the baby boy awake and happy, and I was feeling good. But even when all those things line up, there’s still this D-Day clock hovering over the proceedings. No matter how in my groove I get, it’s all over the second Sarah wakes back up. I have to put all personal productivity on pause until she’s in bed for the night. Welcome to parenthood. There’s no turning back.

I stay entertained just watching Sarah entertain herself. Yesterday, she found a favorite new toy (an empty soda can) and a brand new playmate (a big tree). Sarah spent a good fifteen minutes hurling the can at the tree trunk and yelling, “Catch!” each time. The soda can clanked off that tree dozens of times, and the tree never caught crap. See if Sarah plays with you tomorrow, nonparticipating tree. I got to thinking maybe the tree plays by its own rules, though, like, “Don’t expect me to play catch with you while you’re bouncing dented aluminum off my shins.” That poor tree was probably done with people after the Liggett Lady started grinding out cigarette butts in its sycamore crotch. Ouch.